I’m actually back in Hawaii now and my life is right back where it left off: crazy busy. There are lots more Sendai eats to report on, but I’ll condense everything into one post to save time. You’d think being on vacation would leave me lots of leisurely time for activities like reading a book, watching TV, and posting on my blog, but I was surprisingly busy in Japan. I was busy taking twice daily baths, eating good food, and going to bed early.
もちぶた館 Tonkatsu Mochibutakan
My father’s latest favorite find is Mochibutakan, an establishment that offers tonkatsu and onsen in one location. Yup, that’s onsen as in hot spring bath. Apparently taking a bath in an onsen and then eating tonkatsu is a “Why didn’t anyone think of this before?” kind of logical combination to the Japanese people, because at 12:00pm for lunch on a Sunday, the place was packed with a line out the door! They serve up Mochibuta, a local brand of pork raised with natural feed and a focus on a healthy living environment. That must be the reason it tastes so light and has none of the “porkiness” sometimes found in supermarket pork.
I skipped the bath and went straight for the food. I had the Tonkatsu Gozen that included a big juicy pork cutlet, rice, tonjiru, tsukemono, kobachi, and dessert (what a deal at 900 yen!).
蔵 Ramen Kura
Our family has always loved ramen. Now my brother and his family are about to embark on an incredible journey in pursuit of the perfect bowl of ramen (more details on this later). It’s hard to find good ramen outside of Japan, but in Honolulu you can get a decent bowl of ramen at Tenka Ippin on Kapahulu Avenue.
Ramen Kura, located in the small town of Shichigahama, is the town’s most popular ramen joint. We waited outside in line in the winter cold but the ramen was worth the wait. I had the Kura Original Ramen (550 yen) and Gyoza (300 yen). The soup had a rich flavor brought out by simmering pork bones and various other ingredients overnight.
謝朋殿 Shahouden Chinese Restaurant
We ventured into Sendai City for dinner at a Chinese restaurant. We had:
- Sichuan Mabo Tofu (1000 yen): This was our favorite of the evening, with freshly cracked Sichuan pepper.
- Egg Soup (800 yen)
- Vegetables Stir Fried with Sea Salt (1000 yen)
- Celery Dumplings (600 yen): Served with a yummy coconut sauce
- Xiaolongbao (500 yen/2pc): This is actually what we were after. These dumplings are filled with HOT broth that you have to try not to spill as you bite in.
Does anyone know where I can get good Xiaolongbao in Honolulu?